MPG-o-Matic 2011 Buick Regal CXL Sedan Review Summary: Remove the trademark grille and telltale badges from the 2011 Buick Regal CXL and you’d be hard-presssed to know what it is as you stroll up to it. Slip behind the wheel, and you might guess you’re in a European sport sedan … which, in fact, you are. Beneath the badges, the Regal is an Opel Insigna. While the engine might come from America (and the transmission from China), the Buick Regal is built in Russelsheim, Germany. Bottom line? This is the best handling Buick. Evah.
The front-wheel-drive (FWD) 2011 Buick Regal CXL is equipped with a 2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve ECOTECH inline four cylinder engine producing 182 horsepower (HP) and 172 foot pounds of torque as standard equipment. A six-speed automatic is the sole transmission available with the base engine. The optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine – producing 220 HP and 258 foot pounds of torque – can be fitted with either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission.
The official fuel economy estimates for the 2.4-liter 2011 Buick Regal CXL are 19 city / 30 highway miles per gallon.
We traveled roughly 500 miles in our Quicksilver review unit and were able to slip past the official mileage estimates, with an average of 32.9 MPG on the Interstate highway and 27.0 MPG combined, with temperatures ranging from the high-fifties through the mid-eighties. Interstate highway testing temperatures were in the high-seventies. The test vehicle was delivered with just over 3000 miles on the odometer.
The 2011 Regal CXL is equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels clad with P235/50VR18 Michelin Pilot MXM4 tires. The CXL Turbo features 19-inch alloys with Goodyear Eagle RSA P245/40R19 tires.
Interstate Mileage Testing:
- Cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 32.5 MPG
- Cruise control off, target speed 60-72 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 33.4 MPG
While enthusiasts will likely opt for the more powerful 2.0-liter turbo option, the Regal’s standard-issue 2.4-liter ECOTEC inline four does an acceptable job.
The CXL is fitted with GM’s Hydra-Matic 6T45 six-speed automatic; the CXL Turbo uses the Aisin AF40 unit.
Highway driving range is good when driven conservatively. The Regal CXL is fitted with a 18.4 gallon fuel tank, while the CXL Turbo’s tank holds 18.0 gallons. The Regal CXL is designed to run regular unleaded fuel. Premium unleaded fuel is recommended but not required for the CXL Turbo.
Curb Weight: The 2011 Regal CXL weighs 3,600 pounds, while the CXL Turbo tips the scales at 3,671 pounds.
The Regal is equipped with four wheel anti-lock (ABS) brakes and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), with 11.7 / 296 front (vented) rotors and 11.5 / 292 rear (solid) rotors.
The center mounted Driver’s Information Center provides two trip meters, along with data on oil life, tire pressure, fuel range, and a simultaneous display of both average and real-time fuel economy. A concurrent view of both the average and real-time numbers is a big plus for fuel-concious, light-footed drivers.
The six-speed automatic transmission’s slapstick shifter allows for manual control over gear changes.
Banish any thoughts of its ancestors. The 2011 Regal rides and handles like no Buick before it. The suspension is surprisingly firm and decidedly un-Buick-like … and that’s a good thing.
The 2011 Regal’s cabin is unlike any other Buick, as well. The design is decidedly sleek and European with piano black trim and standard leather seating surfaces.
The Comfort and Convenience option package includes an eight-way power drivers seat and four-way power lumbar support for both the driver and passenger bucket seats. Three-level seat heaters are standard equipment.
The leather-wrapped steering wheel features GM’s familiar integrated controls. Hands-free Bluetooth is standard, as is XM satellite radio and OnStar. The RL5 Option package includes a nine-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system, power sunroof, and Ultrasonic rear parking assist.
There are two twelve-volt outlets, with the first at the base of the dash, and the second inside the center console. A 120-volt AC power outlet is included with the Comfort and Convenience package and is located at the rear of the console. USB iPod and auxiliary audio/video inputs are also located inside the center console.
The Regal’s second row is rated for three, but best suited for two and includes a center armrest. Tall passengers are likely to find it a tight fit. There are 36.8 inches of rear seat head room and 37.3 inches of rear seat leg room.
The trunk allows for 14.2 cubic feet of cargo area, with a handy center pass through and a 60/40 fold-down rear seat to accommodate longer cargo.
All-in-all, the 2011 Buick Regal CXL represents a huge but necessary gamble for the brand, as many existing Buick owners have bought their last new Buick. The Regal opens up the brand to a whole new audience as it poses competition for the likes of the Acura TSX and Audi A4. We look forward to testing the more powerful turbo model (as well as the high-performance Regal GS) and hold out hope for the fuel-efficient turbo-diesel version to cross the pond from Europe.
2011 Buick Regal CXL – Parts Content Information:
U.S./Canadian Parts Content: 21%
Major Sources of Foreign Parts Content:
Final Assembly Point:
Engine: United States
– by Daniel Gray